News Archive 2010
Of Visioneers and Re-Engineers – MIT/CRE Celebrates Its First Quarter Century
Posted October 26, 2010
The Center celebrated its 25th anniversary graduation weekend with a Who's Who of some of the most celebrated names in real estate research and practice.... Conference on Real Estate Re-Engineering: renowned panelists weighed in on the current meltdown, the fix, and the future. Hines Keynote Address: super-developer Gerald D. Hines shared his five principles of success. Re-Engineering Tour: showcase of three MIT buildings presented real estate re-engineering in action. 25th Anniversary Gala: nearly 300 alumni, students, faculty, friends, and founders saluted the new recipients of the Visioneer and Spaulding awards, then danced till the wee hours.
Big Apple to Slow City: Tony Ciochetti Gets an Overview of Sustainable Building’s Potential
Posted October 26, 2010
The 61st floor of the Empire State Building does not boast a famed observatory, like the 86th. And it is 40 floors lower than the stratospheric summit. But it still offers spectacular views that extend from mid-Manhattan across the rivers and far out into the surrounding countryside. Read Full Article.
Posted October 15, 2010
Interviewed by Bloomberg News, MIT/CRE Director of Research David Geltner explains how even in today's flat market, commercial property investors interested in "trophy" properties are driving up prices in six cities – even as the rest of the country hovers near the post-crash bottom. The spike is driven by interest in "good, solid, safe, cash-yielding inflation-protecting investments," Geltner said, "and there are not that many properties on the market.... Demand is really focused because it’s so risk-averse. [Investors] really want just these blue-ribbon cities and these blue-ribbon properties." Read full article.
Wheaton Sweeps Media Trifecta
Posted October 6, 2010
With the release of MIT/CRE Professor William Wheaton's recent proposal on fixing the housing mess (see item following), three of the nation's premier media outlets have sought him out for further comment and forecasting. Fortune Magazine, National Public Radio, and CNBC have been especially interested in Wheaton's bullish view of the housing market, which he sees as poised for a dramatic comeback.
Posted September 10, 2010
The US mortgage pool is currently suffering from two major problems — (1) nearly a quarter of mortgages are "under water," and (2) unemployment fueled by the recession is triggering more delinquencies and defaults. To repair the first problem and help with the second, MIT/CRE Professor William Wheaton has proposed a restructuring of existing mortgages that provides protections and incentives for both homeowners and lenders. Read proposal...
Real estate looks like the next big thing for Soveriegn Wealth Funds (SWFs) according to a Reuters article profiling thesis research by two MIT/CRE students. Co-authors Pulkit Sharma and Yoohoon Jeon, slated to graduate from MIT in 2010, found that SWFs could invest up to almost $290 billion a year in real estate — nearly a tenth of their assets — over the next five years to hedge their volatile source of wealth. Read article.
Posted August 20, 2010
Three years ago this month, Alison Novak '06 began a remarkable weekly blog — setting out to chronicle her company's development of the "Third and Bond" residential project in Brooklyn from start to finish. As Senior Project Manager, she reported on the process in candid detail — successes and setbacks — offering a level of transparency that not only won over many critics, but also helped sell units. Read New York Times feature article.
Grads Win 2nd Award for Thesis Research
Posted August 11, 2010
Alumni Ben Bulloch '09 and John Sullivan '09 have been awarded the "ING Most Outstanding Article by a Graduate Student Award" from the Cornell Real Estate Review. The journal invited them to submit a paper after learning about their MIT/CRE thesis — entitled Application of the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) to the Real Estate Development Process — a thesis that previously won the Annual Thesis Award co-sponsored by the New Boston Fund and MIT's Alumni Association of the Center for Real Estate (AACRE). Read MIT/CRE profile of the grads & their work, as well as Cornell RE Review article.
Posted June 24, 2010
MIT Students enrolled in the the Center's Innovative Project Delivery class joined Professor Chris Gordon to see one of the world's most important modern infrastructure projects — the expansion of the Panama Canal. The group also visited the construction of Panama's new Museum of Biodiversity designed by Frank Ghery, and learned of the particular needs of island developments. Read full article.
Posted May 20, 2010
East Africa is one of the largest single-bloc regional markets in Africa, and it is rapidly transforming from an agricultural to a service economy. Yet amid this transformation, 40% of Kenyans are unemployed, many living in inadequate housing. Center Chairman Tony Ciochetti recently traveled to Kenya to introduce the 1K House, the visionary MIT/CRE project that seeks to design reliable and sustainable houses for the phenomenally low price of $1000 apiece. Read article...
Posted May 18, 2010
On the morning of May 7th, the MIT Center for Real Estate Alumni Association (AACRE) held its annual Real Estate Symposium, featuring opening remarks from Jones Lang LaSalle CEO of the Americas, Peter Roberts, and keynote speaker, Congressman Barney Frank. A distinguished panel of experts from industry, government and academia offered their perspective on the changing real estate landscape by examining the balance between government intervention and private capital as well as emerging policy-driven opportunities. Learn more...
Posted April 21, 2010
Long before green was cool, developer Jonathan Rose was putting into practice the "triple bottom line" of people, planet, and profit. He brought his message to the MIT Center for Real Estate on Friday, April 2, 2010, as part of the Center's 25th Anniversary Leaders in Real Estate Series, stressing the vital role that cities must play in a sustainable future. Read feature article...
Posted April 29, 2010
On March 22-23, Center partners arriving from around the world were treated to a "symphony of innovation" as they saw first-hand the kind of landmark, cross-disciplinary work being done at MIT – from opera sculpture at the Media Lab to the 1K House project at MIT/CRE. Read full article...
Posted March 17, 2010
"Approximately 70 percent of all development is happening outside the US," said MIT/CRE Chairman and Academic Director Tony Ciochetti. "You can't sit here on a chair in Boston and be global. Somebody has to get on the plane." This past January, Ciochetti and seven Center students headed abroad for a first-hand look at the real estate industry of England and Portugal. Read full article...
March 17, 2010
The Alumni Association of the MIT Center for Real Estate (AACRE) is hosting a graduate real estate case competition at the Prudential Center in Boston on April 15 from 6:00-7:30pm. Teams of three to four full-time grad students will receive a brokers packet for a building or development site in Boston, then spend the next 48 hours creating an Excel-based proforma and determining an acquisition price. Prizes will range from $1250 to $500. Read more...
Hosted on February 23 by San Francisco's AMB Property Corporation, a talk by Professor Bish Sanyal explored MIT's global initiatives, while a talk by Professor William Wheaton considered industrial and office markets. Learn more...
January 27, 2010
Challenging widespread media reports of defaults on homes with "underwater" mortgages, Bill Wheaton cites research suggesting that only the most severely strapped homeowners will default -- a tiny fraction. Listen to & read interview.